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My former employer owes me money


jerichoholicninja

The place that laid me off in July still owes me my last two weeks pay. I contacted them in September and was told they would mail my check to me the next week. After not getting a check that week I contacted them again and was told the payroll person was sick last week and I'd get a check next week. More time goes past and I contact them in October and they tell me they are waiting for a large payment from a client and would pay me when they get the payment but would include interest. I kind of forgot about it until last week so I emailed them again and haven't gotten a response. Yesterday I was contacted by someone I worked with there who is working somewhere else now and he told me he is filing a complain with the DWD because he hasn't gotten paid either and told me I should too.

 

I've looked into it a little bit and it seems like I've done everything I need to do to file a complaint. However, what I would like to do is contact my former employer again and say that I would like my payment or I'm going to file a complaint. More so because I don't feel like dealing with all the crap that is probably involved by going through the DWD and whatever legal channels may follow.

 

Below are links to where I've gotten my information. Anyone have any advice or experience anything like this before?

 

http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/labor_standards_bureau/how_to_file_a_wage_claim.htm

http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/forms/erd/ls_119_e.htm

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Man I'd go in there and sit down and say I'm not leaving until you pay me! Not sure how effective that would be but that a long with the complaint "threat" might get it done. Not sure if that's realistic. Sorry you have to deal with that.
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I really would prefer never to see these people again. Not because they laid me off and this whole situation but because I hated them well before this but it seems like all I really need to do is ask for payment and if I don't get it in 6 days I can file a complaint and let DWD take care of it.
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  • 3 weeks later...

I got my letter from the DWD last week and it included a copy of the letter they sent to my employer and he has until January 2 to either pay me or come up with a good excuse as to why I haven't been paid.

 

But wouldn't you know as luck would have it I ran into him at an event over the weekend. He reached out his hand to shake mine and I said "Do you have something for me?" He got this really confused look on his face and said "like what?" I said you owe me a check and he responds with "really?" And I go yup. So he says he didn't know and he will have it resolved on Monday and I walked away. I wanted to just leave it at that and avoid him the rest of the time so I found a place to sit and talk with a friend. A little while later he comes over by me all flustered and sort of angrily says, "Payroll won't be in on Monday so it will have to wait until Wednesday. I didn't know." and he huffed away.

 

I call total [edited] on him not knowing. I've been asking them for the last 4 months and he should have gotten two letters from the DWD last week (my friend said he got the same letter I did about his complaint). What a piece of trash. I knew the guy was a crook from the very first time I met him and have heard other people say that too.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hate to go back to this but my case worker called me today to tell me that my case is being turned over to the county DA because my employer never responded to any of their letters. She didn't really say what exactly was going to happen and I didn't think to ask. Anyone know what will happen?

 

Also, since I really want to make sure this guy gets everything that's coming to him do you think there would be any harm in leaking some information to the newspaper about an employer that isn't paying his employees?

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I would be careful with what you tell a newspaper. You said employees. Are there multiple cases with this employer or are you the only one?

 

Additionally, this is the time I would see a lawyer to explore my civil options. The county DA, as far as I know, only handles criminal matters and you may have civil options to get money from your employer.

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I'm not owed enough money to make it worth it to get a lawyer. So I don't know why he doesn't just pay me and avoid all the hassle of court and potential negative PR.

 

I have a feeling he thinks he can just ignore me and I'll go away. If I would have found a job since he let me go that probably would be the case but now I'm very angry and very unemployed.

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I'm not owed enough money to make it worth it to get a lawyer. So I don't know why he doesn't just pay me and avoid all the hassle of court and potential negative PR.

 

I have a feeling he thinks he can just ignore me and I'll go away. If I would have found a job since he let me go that probably would be the case but now I'm very angry and very unemployed.

 

I'm sure that's exactly it. Maybe you just need to tell him, "Either my full paycheck is in my hands by next week, or I'm going to the newspaper with your name."

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I'm not owed enough money to make it worth it to get a lawyer. So I don't know why he doesn't just pay me and avoid all the hassle of court and potential negative PR.

 

I have a feeling he thinks he can just ignore me and I'll go away. If I would have found a job since he let me go that probably would be the case but now I'm very angry and very unemployed.

 

While I am not a lawyer and I am not giving you legal advice, I would highly suggest talking to an attorney. There are often laws in place that provide for the losing side to pay for attorney fees, additionally there are sometimes additional damage awards that can exceed the amount that you are owed ie: make it more worthwhile for you and an attorney to take this to court.

 

You also said you knew of another employee that he owes thousands of dollars. The combination of your cases could make it work an attorneys time. Consultations for this sort of thing are generally free.

 

I would also poke around on this site http://www.dol.gov/whd/

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At this point I don't know why you wouldn't get a lawyer. At the very least, the employer should be forced to compensate you with interest (since he earned the interest, not you) and should also pay your legal fees. I'm sure there are plenty of lawyers out there that would love the chance to make an easy couple hundred bucks paid for by your former employer
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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE:

 

A few weeks ago I received a check for the money that was owed me. I contacted my case worker because I was told I would be paid interest and her response was basically, "You got paid, I don't care anymore." I was content since I really wasn't expecting to get any interest anyway. Well I got a check for a whopping $25 for interest about a week later. At that point I was thinking I got paid and got "interest" I might as well just let the whole thing go.

 

Then I was working on my taxes and found that I am now owed an additional $260.00. When I was first hired I was considered an independent contractor for my probationary period and then became W-2 after about 2 months. Now I know there is no way I was an independent contractor (they hire everyone this way and almost none of them could be an independent contractor) but it was either this or no job. So because of this mis-classification I am owed the taxes I paid that they should have paid. Not only that, I was talking to my friend who's going through this too about the mis-classification and he gave me some interesting information. He asked for a 1099-MISC and was told that they don't do those because the owner "doesn't want to be a book keeper for the IRS."

 

I looked up the ramifications of not providing a 1099-MISC and while I can't find it being illegal, it certainly isn't legal as there are fines for not doing it.

 

So I guess what I'm wondering is how do I become a whistle blower? They are mis-classifying employees to avoid paying taxes and they aren't providing information they are required to by law. Do I contact the DA, a lawyer, the SEC? Anyone know?

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  • 7 months later...

FINAL UPDATE (hopefully):

 

After keeping tabs on this guy and his "business" for a while, I can finally say that he is no longer in business. He screwed over the wrong business who sued him and also put on their website not to do business with him because he is a crook. I noticed that the few people that worked for him have new jobs on their LinkedIn profiles and he seems to have completely disappeared.

 

This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside expect for the fact that somebody owes the IRS the taxes he should have paid on my wages when I worked for him. I never paid them and filed the appropriate forms for making him pay them. The IRS informed me that the case could take up to two years to resolve, which is fine, but can they still make him pay if he's no longer in business? I'm sure it depends how the company was set up but this is where it gets tricky. The company I worked for and the company that paid me were two different companies - sometimes. I also got paychecks from two different companies, one of which is no longer in business and the other which still seems to be. So, I'm not really sure if I'm done with this or not.

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What a mess! At least you eventually got paid, and I'm sure you get satisfaction seeing him go under. Don't worry about the tax man, he will find this guy and he'll hae to pay up. He can't hide behind the business. Otherwise, every shady character out there could open up a business, never pay any taxes, bankrupt the company and never owe anything.

 

All of this takes time, but ultimately he will have to pay up, face jail time, or both.

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I was looking at property tax records this morning. I was curious if he still owned the building I worked in since there is a different business in that office space and I never see his vehicle there anymore.

 

Yes, he does still own it but it is under the name of another business that I had never heard of before and is listed as an LLC. None of the companies I worked for were LLC's. He also owes $3200+ in property taxes from 2012. I guess he's just not very big on the whole "paying things he's supposed to" thing.

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